An Elegant Village Fete Themed Wedding

village fete wedding

Priscilla and Alan were married in April at the town hall in Henley-On-Thames followed by a reception in Monks’ Barn in Hurley. They wanted their wedding to have a village fete theme which was also laid back and fun.

Priscilla wore a lace gown by Shanna Melville she looks so elegant and beautiful. Alan went for a Grey morning suit which he hired, i do love a groom in grey i must say.

There are so many beautiful touches to their wedding, from the gorgeous blooms and the floral bridesmaid dresses, to the vintage typewriter and the sack races. You are going to love this day as much as i do.

Thanks so much to the wonderful Dasha Caffrey for sharing her incredible images with us today.


Names…. Priscilla and Alan

Wedding Date…. Saturday 14th April 2012

The Proposal…. Alan took me to Valencia for a holiday in August last year. It was on my birthday that he proposed. He took me to a landscaped garden near our hotel, which ran alongside the city of arts and sciences (I am a very artsy person, he is very scientific) and proposed amongst a garden of roses. The weather had been extremely hot all day, and Alan had only worn a t-shirt and shorts, even at dinner. It was only for the walk in the evening that he stopped by our hotel and dressed up in a shirt, trousers and posh shoes. I still giggle every time I remember how unsubtle he was there – but I still didn’t know!

The Vision for the day…. we wanted a very laid back day, it was very important that we did it our way and that people had fun. I was keen to have afternoon tea rather than a sit down meal. I found another wedding that had a similar feel, which happened to be in Monks’ Barn, and it was due to this that we decided on our venue. One we decided on a village fete style theme, everything suddenly fell into place.

The Planning process…. I sat down with my bridesmaids and between us we formed a very long to do list for the coming 7 months, writing exactly what needed to be done and when on a long piece of wallpaper roll. Once it was done, we didn’t look at it again!

The Venue… Henley-On-Thames town hall for the ceremony, followed by Monks’ Barn in Hurley for the reception.

The Dress + Accessories….. ‘Sienna’ dress by Shanna Melville and floor length veil all from Satin Bow Bridal in St Albans. Headband from a private seller on Etsy. Shoes by Pink. Jewellery was my something borrowed from both my mother and Alan’s mother.

Finding the dress…. I found ‘the one’ at the first place I went to – Satin Bow Bridal in St Albans. Victoria there was so welcoming and so honest. I somehow managed to pick a few dresses out from a whole wall of gorgeous dresses (in my dress fittings, I couldn’t stop looking at all the other dresses…I think she was worried I had changed my mind about mine!) My dress was actually the first one I tried on, and was the ‘Sienna’ dress by Shanna Melville. It fit perfectly, and had an old classic charm to it that I wanted from my wedding dress. It completely blew my budget though, but after trying on many others anyway, I knew it was definitely the one. I wasn’t going to leave the shop without it.

Groom’s attire Grey morning suit, ivory waistcoat and tie all hired from Perfectly Groomed in Datchet

The Readings + Music…. Alan picked one of his best men to do a reading, so I chose him to read ‘I Carry Your Heart’ by E.E. Cummings. I asked my friend Kelly to do the second reading. She has always been wonderful at sourcing touching pieces of literature and songs, so I asked her to surprise us and choose a reading herself. She chose the most beautiful reading – a letter from Robert Browning to Elizabeth Barrett on the day of their wedding. It is a beautiful letter about love, and both she and I had to choke back tears. The music I walked down the aisle to I kept a secret from Alan – I wanted it to be a touching surprise. Two days after we got engaged, he showed me a video of a wedding proposal using Muppets – the soundtrack to which was ‘Yours Alone’ by Valerie Miller. We both cried at it, and I have teared up every single time I have heard it since. It perfectly summed up what he means to me, and what getting married meant to both of us. We left the ceremony to ‘Higher and Higher’, and our first song was ‘Let it be me’ by the Everly Brothers – a beautiful song, and only 2 minutes long, which sold it to Alan.

Beautiful bridesmaids….. I found their dresses very early on. I had seen them in a wedding magazine, so looked them up and found that they were in the House of Fraser sale. They were called Vintage Taffeta dress by Pied a Terre. I rang all my bridesmaids to get them to have a look and see if they were happy with them; I got positive feedback all round, so went to order them online. Problem was, they only had one of the sizes I needed in stock. I therefore spent 2 hours ringing around various House of Fraser stores across the UK sourcing the other sizes. But I adore those dresses, and would do it all again.

The Flowers… provided by Nicki at White Garden florist in Henley-On-Thames. The key idea behind them was just picked country flowers in jars in pastel shades. As soon as I described this, she instantly knew what I wanted. They were beautiful.

The Cake… we made ourselves, following the Primrose Bakery cookbook recipe. We spent hours practising and baking, and even spent most of the Friday afternoon icing them all. The bridesmaids had to set it up on the day, but it was so worth it!

Your Photographer…. Dasha Caffrey A truly talented and wonderful person.

The Details + Decor…. As a village fete theme, I knew I had to have bunting (which my mum made), and had planned to have it running all across the ceiling. However, a few weeks before the wedding, I realised that the venue would need lighting for the evening. I also really liked the fairy light canopy look. So I researched how much it would be. I got an offer too good to turn down from Sarah at oakwookevents. They were so brilliant in being able to meet my small budget, and were so professional and friendly throughout. I feel so lucky I did; trying to put bunting up that high in the barn would have taken us days, and the fairy lighting was so beautiful!

I wanted vintage touches, so had a typewriter for guests to type us messages, hired vintage china from our caterers, collected various glass jars for the flowers, and had an antique birdcage for the cards. The seating plan was a last minute idea, of creating paper bunting and sticking it to the front of an antique French mirror I had. Place names doubled up as favours, and were handmade rose teabags with labels attached with everyone’s names on, which sat in each teacup. The fingerprint tree was an idea given to me by a dear friend who had one at their wedding. My sister drew the tree for us, and provided all the ink for it too. To help fit in with our village fete theme, we had a ‘guess the sweets in the jar’ game for people to play. One of the most memorable moments was my University mentor joking about rigging the competition, then ending up winning it. It took a lot of convincing her before she believed it was fair and square!

The Honeymoon…. As I am a teacher, we went on our honeymoon early August. We are planning to go on a Nile Cruise for a week, and perhaps a mini moon break somewhere in the UK too.

Memorable moments… The sack races, which everyone threw themselves into with great aplomb. Having to go around the block a couple of times in the wedding car before the ceremony due to Alan’s mother running late! The most touching was arriving back to our hotel room to find my bridesmaids had set up rose petals on the bed, chocolates and a beautiful message for us both. I burst into tears.

Advice for other couples… Have food taken to your room, just in case you don’t eat much. Try to circulate during dinner, and if you have evening guests arriving, circulate again. You won’t have a chance to talk to everyone you want to, the day goes by far too fast. By doing this, it feels a little bit more like you did.

Credit where credit is due…









Wedding dress

Vintage taxi

Vintage Routemaster


Thanks so very much to Priscilla and Alan for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us today. Are you planning fun and games at your wedding? XOXO Lou


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